Despite initially doing nothing to confront the balloon, President Joe Biden eventually ordered that it be shot down off the coast of South Carolina. That led China to strike back with an angry statement.
According to Breitbart, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday that it may "take further actions" and condemned the Biden administration for "an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice."
It added that "China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response."
What's more, Chinese Diplomat Zhang Meifang put out a mocking tweet on Saturday in which she said, "Maybe China was simply giving the US a balloon. Much like one would give a child to make them feel better!"
Chinese diplomat Zhang Meifang: "Maybe China was simply giving the US a balloon. Much like one would give a child to make them feel better!" pic.twitter.com/QwuuwZN1eX
— BNO News Live (@BNODesk) February 4, 2023
The president's decision not to shoot the balloon down earlier was roasted by Republicans, many of whom expressed their disapproval on Twitter.
Missouri Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt declared that "we shouldn’t have a Chinese spy balloon floating over the United States of America," adding, "Take it down."
I know I was just named to the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday but I’m going to go out on a limb and say we shouldn’t have a Chinese spy balloon floating over the United States of America.
Take it down.
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) February 3, 2023
Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran spoke up as well, accusing China of having "invaded US airspace" while insisting that the Biden administration "needs to take action to address this situation."
China invaded US airspace, & the Biden admin needs to take action to address this situation. Further delay is unacceptable. I have received reports of a balloon over NE Kansas, & I am in contact with DoD on what action is being taken to protect Kansans & the US from this threat.
— Senator Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) February 3, 2023
Meanwhile, some conservatives were more light hearted in their reaction, such as writer and Turning Point USA activist Benny Johnson.
Johnson tweeted out a picture of the balloon and an image of Kyle Rittenhouse along with a caption that read, "I know a guy..."
I know a guy… pic.twitter.com/LRv23omwm8
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 3, 2023